You know when mainstream media get interested in the Scriptures? When they can use a phrase like "biblical flood" -- as several did in coverage of the disastrous flooding in South Carolina.
But that doesn't mean they’ll acknowledge where they got the phrase, or fill in any background. The shock value is more important than the power source of the shock.
So we get USA Today with this mostly leaden lede:
The biblical flooding in South Carolina is at least the sixth so-called 1-in-1,000 year rain event in the U.S. since 2010, a trend that may be linked to factors ranging from the natural, such as a strong El Niño, to the man-made, namely climate change.
The Minneapolis Tribune piggybacks off USA Today with its own catchword headline, " 'Sept-ober' Weather Bliss Lingers - Biblical Floods in South Carolina - 6 Separate 1-in-1,000 Year Rains, Nationwide, Since 2010.' "
And headline in a website called Celebcafe offers "a few unreal photos of South Carolina's biblical floods," even though the word "biblical" doesn't appear in the article itself.
But by now, reporters or editors are just tossing in "biblical" enroute to what really interests them. Mashable mentions "biblical rains and historic flooding in South Carolina this week," although the story is mainly about those floating rafts of fire ants.
The American Press of Lake Charles, La., worked the term today into a sports story, about plans for an LSU-South Carolina game.
"[T]hey’re going to have themselves a game, come hell or more high water," writer Scooter Hobbs snickers. "The South Carolina capital is suffering through Biblical flooding at the moment, but never mind. A conference game is going to get played.